#02116
Butcher Boy (Sons Of Erin) MIDI, video
See also: The Butcher Boy (Ryan's Fancy)
And also: The Butcher Boy (Kenneth Peacock)
And also: She Died In Love (Kenneth Peacock)
#624: YouTube video by NLTreasure
©2009 ~ Used with permission ~

midi1   alt: midi2

In Moore Street where I did dwell,
Lives a butcher boy I loved right well;
He courted me my life away,
And then with me he would not stay.

I wish, I wish, I wished in vain,
I wish I was a maid again;
But a maid again I'd never be,
Till the cherries grow on an ivy tree.

I wish my baby it was born,
And smiling on his daddy's knee;
And me, poor girl, to be dead and gone,
With the long green grass growing over me.

She went upstairs to go to bed,
And calling out her mother said:
Give me a chair while I sit down,
And a pen and ink till I write down.

At every line she shed a tear,
At every line cried, Willy, dear,
Oh, what a foolish girl was I,
To fall in love with a butcher boy.

He went upstairs and the door he broke,
He found her hanging from a rope;
He got his knife and he cut her down,
And in her pocket these words he found:

Oh, dig my grave large, wide, and deep,
Place a marble stone at my head and feet;
And in the middle a turtle dove,
So the world can know I died for love.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, The Butcher Boy [Laws P24] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of the broadside ballad, The Butcher Boy, published by H De Marsan (New York, NY) circa 1860, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 18(72) ....####
This variant was recorded by Sons of Erin, featuring bandleader Ralph O'Brien, Johnnie Lynn, "Wee" John Cameron, and Denis Ryan on their self-titled album, Sons Of Erin, c.1970.

See more songs by Sons of Erin.

A variant was also recorded as The Butcher Boy by Ryan's Fancy (Newfoundland Drinking Songs, ©1973, Audat Records).

See more songs by Ryan's Fancy.

A very similar variant was collected in 1951 from Albert (Bert) Fitzgerald [1918-?] of Trepassey, NL, and published as The Butcher Boy in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1959 from Mrs Wallace (Amelia J) Kinslow [1903-1985] of Isle aux Morts, NL, and published as The Butcher Boy in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.707-708, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was also collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1959 from Mrs Wallace (Amelia J) Kinslow [1903-1985] of Isle aux Morts, NL, and published as She Died In Love in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.705-706, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that some of the most beautiful lyric verse in the English language is to be found in this traditional ballad and its relations. The relationships and cross-influences among all these songs is so complex that it is doubtful if the "original" will ever be discovered.



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